Magnificat - Philippe Rogier - Fanfare

Two discs devoted to Masses of Philippe Rogier (c.1561-96) offered contrasting approaches to his Missa Ego sum qui sum . Philip Cave ( Fanfare 24:1) presented an a cappella performance, while David Trendell (34:1) employed the same instrumental ensemble heard here. Now Cave has combined alternative approaches on one program and even duplicated the two 12-voice motets that bookended Trendell's program (as Trendell duplicated Laboravi in Cave's first disc). He performs only the Palestrina motet a cappella , while the eight-voice Mass uses dulcian and organ and the 12-voice Mass and the other motets use the full ensemble. Cave points out that the contrasting styles of Rogier's compositions suggest this, the Mass recorded earlier in the Flemish style, the works heard here demonstrating his grasp of Venetian polychoral music (he owned 12 books of motets and madrigals by Andrea Gabrieli). Rogier's early style followed his Flemish heritage even though he left home to become a choir boy in Spain about the age of 10.

Missa Domine Dominus noster was recorded in 1996 by Jean Tubéry (not submitted for review), a performance that was interleaved with chant Propers. Laudate Dominum was recorded by A Sei Voci (22:4), a faster rendition with instruments, and by Peter Phillips (33:6), who used only organ accompaniment. The two motets previously recorded by Trendell are closer to Cave's interpretations, similar in ensemble and pacing. While Cave has seldom recorded his vocal group accompanied by instruments, he achieves a marvelous ensemble with these forces. My Super Audio playback reveals almost no back channels, unlike other discs of this type; even some ordinary stereo discs provide much more surround sound. But that does not affect the quality of the performances, which are heartily recommended.

17 August 2011